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  1. eeewing's Avatar
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       #1  
    Like many of you, I've been plagued with the issue where dust works its way under the screen and in front of the front-facing camera. I got my first phone replaced because of the issue, and thought my replacement unit didn't have an issue...until it, well, did.

    Subsequent communication with Nokia has been fruitless. I started off contacting their support team via Twitter, who asked me to follow the repair process outlined online -- the one where you send in your phone for 2 weeks and (according to many of you) have Nokia just take a can of air and blow the dust out for you. I can't be without my phone that long, so that wasn't gonna work. I wrote to Matt Rothschild, who passed me to the Nokia Care Team, who then told me that the issue was not covered by warranty. I wrote to Stephen Elop, who has not responded or forwarded me along to anybody. So, I decided to fix the thing myself. Here's what I found.

    Basically, there is a gap (probably 1/2 mm tall) that is running along the entire top seam of the glass -- right at the top of the screen between where the glass ends and the polycarbonate housing begins. Generally speaking, this is fine...the phone is sealed up pretty well. The only place that's not sealed up -- as in, at all -- is where the camera sits.

    wp_20130308_027.jpg

    ...and here's a photo taken without flash that shows the gap a little more starkly:

    wp_20130308_029.jpg

    The cutout for the camera holds a rubber gasket that presumably is intended to keep debris from entering into the phone; however, it is secured with a foam adhesive only around the sides and bottom ...there is absolutely NO adhesive at the top, which is (as you notice) where the gap is. That being the case, dust can enter through that gap, work its way under the gasket, and end up smack in front of the FFC. It's no wonder why blowing compressed air in there works to clean the dust out -- there is literally nothing to stop air, dirt, dust, or anything else from entering. This is clearly a defect in the design of the phone, and as such should be a warrantable issue ("defects in parts or workmanship")...the fact I was turned down for warranty support makes me very upset.

    Now, there is a positive to take away from this...that being that there is literally no way that dust entering near the FFC could ever make its way in front of the proximity sensor (which had been theorized). There is a wall in the housing separating the proximity sensor window from the FFC, and everything there is sealed up tight. So, that's good and bad -- if you're having proximity sensor issues, it's not from dust.

    For those of you with this problem interested in fixing it, it's possible -- really all that needs done is to better adhere the camera's gasket to the inside of the housing. While there are disassembly instructions online, do be aware that doing this technically voids the warranty on your phone (of course, if Nokia's not honoring it anyway, does it really matter?). However, it's really a shame that Nokia even shipped the phone like this...and has yet to admit the issue. For those of you who paid $50-100 for the phone on subsidy, it's probably not as big a deal as it is to someone like me who bought the phone for full price...for over $400 I expected better.

    At any rate, hope this helps solve the mystery!
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  2. buxz777's Avatar
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    #2  
    nice work dude and very interesting id tweet this to mr elop ;-) let him know ;-) what you got to loose? i think nokia need to buck their ideas up with build quality big time , ive had a few 920s , all of them built differently , i finally have a good one but some of the faults i have seen with my own eyes have been

    # metal strip of camera wonky
    # big light leakage from bottom of the screen
    # different coloured touch buttons some bright white some very dull yellow
    # phone that clicked when you pushed it , not great for a solid uni body design
    # very loud rattle from vibrate mechanism
    # a 920 with terrible call quality , sounded like a dodgy earpiece

    i have had a few 920s and some of my friends own them , buying a nokia can be a lottery these days and it aint a lottery i like to participate in , you can get two 920s and each can feel slightly different .... its bad!!

    it isnt just the 920 ii bought an 808 when they come out , one had purple screen , the next didnt but the silver camera surround was scratched outta the box , the next had dust under the camera glass , it goes all the way back to the n95 and wobbly slider syndrome

    iif i am paying 400/500 for a piece of tech i dont want a lemon thats been rushed out on a friday afternoon to meet deadlines ..... is that to much to ask??
  3. tkuhe's Avatar
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    #3  
    So I had to get a replacement for my first cyan 920 because the case creaked really bad and the battery was a nightmare. I have had the new one for about a month now and the battery has been amazing!! It did require a full reboot to get it there but anyways now I am at a consistent 24+hrs easy.
    Unfortunately I just started noticing dust under the FFC. As a former engineer I feel like what we have been experiencing with this phone is plain and simple a rushed design. There have been so many design flaws that should have been caught prior to release that are instead being debugged and tested on the public it really scares me. Nokia HAS to do better than this if they want to survive and compete against the iphone. I love this phone and love WP8. I just dont know if I want to risk sending it in to get fixed or replaced as I am nervous about what will be wrong with what gets sent back....
  4. Sam Sabri's Avatar
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    #4  
    This is awesome. Putting it on the front page - it needs to be seen.
    Sam Sabri
    Managing Editor - Windows Phone Central
    Email - sam@wpcentral.com
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  5. Joe920's Avatar
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    #5  
    Hashtags #SealTeamFix #DustyTheFrontCam
  6. tonyluo2001's Avatar
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    #6  
    The proximity sensor could be a hardware problem, I think. I have a friend had the same problem on his Samsung low-end android phone. After he flashed the OS, it works perfectly.
  7. Anas Khateeb's Avatar
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    #7  
    Does Build matter ? I mean I am planning to buy one, how would I know mine wont be effected ?
  8. Jaripi's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Anas Khateeb View Post
    Does Build matter ? I mean I am planning to buy one, how would I know mine wont be effected ?
    I think that this is Nokia's QC problem ... I have over 3 months old Lumia 920 without any dust problem (holding just in pocket and no any kind of cover) ...
  9. Anas Khateeb's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaripi View Post
    I think that this is Nokia's QC problem ... I have over 3 months old Lumia 920 without any dust problem (holding just in pocket and no any kind of cover) ...
    Could it be, the new batch doesn't have this problem ?
  10. KingCrimson's Avatar
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    #10  
    So the 920 is plagued by QC problems. One good batch, 2 bad ones.
  11. Jaripi's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Anas Khateeb View Post
    Could it be, the new batch doesn't have this problem ?
    Yes, of course ... it is their own advantage to fix it as soon as possible ... but I do not know did they do it or not ?
  12. HNNNNNGHHH's Avatar
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    #12  
    I find it very peculiar that the unibody Nokia phones are usually suffering from manufacturing defects. Don't get my point? Consider this: the Lumia 800, 900, and just recently, the 920 all had problems with proximity sensors and front facing camera dust issues. The Nokia Lumia 710, which has the EXACT same hardware as the 800 has NEVER went through problems relating to design flaws. Same thing with the Lumia 820/810 compared to the 920. What's interesting is that none of the mid-tier Nokia smartphones (with the exception of the Lumia 800) suffered from such problems, because their framework is not of a unibody design, but they have removable batteries and exchangeable shells.

    Overall, one can conclude from this is that Nokia is skilled in designing and manufacturing low to mid-tier handsets, while their flagships, premium specifications and all, have some kind of design oversight, meaning that their expertise in premium smartphone design still needs some work.
  13. ammarmalik2011's Avatar
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    #13  
    Nokia hardware quality is over rated. There was a time when it was second to none. That time is gone.
  14. avjain's Avatar
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    #14  
    I have been having this issue as well for a while.... I work the phone (when on a call) with the double click on the lock button, that gives me a one second window to switch off the phone or turn to speaker. Once speaker is on, the whole light shows and works fine...

    But I think Nokia should come with an immediate fix, like have a 2 button press on a call to get it to light up. Like maybe double / triple click the lock button or hold camera and lock button together to get it to light up.

    this way it wont be an accidental press as well and can help people adjust to the sensor issue. (which as eeewing has shown is really a hardware fault by Nokia). Having replacements cant be solution, I feel the most practical call would be a combination f buttons to make it work.

    Apart from this frustrating thing, I like phone, it's awesome, but something needs to be done for this!!!
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by ammarmalik2011 View Post
    Nokia hardware quality is over rated. There was a time when it was second to none. That time is gone.
    So who would you say they are second too? Every manufacturer has had flaky devices from time to time. On our Network the 920 is also experiencing higher than average return rates, but take the combined return rates of all Lumia devices and Nokia's track record still looks excellent. I think this incident just makes it harder to compare brands, as now nobody has an "untarnished" device history.

    Also, the 920 was designed and built during one of Nokia's most difficult transitional periods. Design teams were reshuffled, manufacturing plants were moved and restaffed halfway accross the world, and thousands left the company. I don't think it is wise to make such a judgment call, based on one device developed during that time of turmoil.
  16. buxz777's Avatar
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    #16  
    i wish it was one device , over the years i have had/seen

    # n95 with wobbly sliders but seen others with great sliding mechanisms / gps issues / etc
    # n96 with wobbly slider
    # n97 with a camera protector that scratched its own lens / a gps that hardly worked as nokia forgot to shield it from interference from other aerials
    # n8 with purple screen issues / n8 with motherboard issues
    # 808 with purple screen issues / dust under the lens / scratched phone out of the box
    # n86 with weak gps , other n86s were fine / also some had wobbly slider
    # 5800 with a big gap in the plastic housing letting dust and condensation get in easily
    # lumia 920 with many different problems

    it isnt just one phone while nokia have been in transition but a selection of phones over a number of years ...... why can so many nokias have such a varying build quality , why should one person get a lemon and the other get a rock solid built one?? thats the thing that gets me when i buy a nokia will it be a lemon or a decently built one

    i still use nokia and love their phones and tech but i am not a fanboy and have seen issues with build quality on many handsets over the years and i think its something that needs adressing personaly

    then we have nokia care .... a month wwithout your phone .... getting phones back butchered with scratches and dust under the screens ...again quality control of repairs and speed of their repair network is again something i think needs adressing by the big man mr elop
  17. #17  
    ^ not disputing any of that. The 920 does have more issues than other phones though. However, no manufacturer gets by without any such incidents. Particularly not Apple and neither does Samsung. At least our statistics show that Nokia does better than most, and that the 920 is an outlier.
  18. Huime's Avatar
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    #18  
    I thought it is a well known issue and the reason behind it?
  19. chiron09's Avatar
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    #19  
    Got two 920's one of them have this issue, the other doesn't...
  20. BlackSaint's Avatar
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    #20  
  21. YouMeanNo's Avatar
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    #21  
    I too have the dust issue in the camera and the proximity sensor doesn't always work during a call.

    What I don't understand is if the proximity issues isn't due to dust, how come blowing hard into that area fixes the problem (although temporarily)?
  22. Lundon44's Avatar
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    #22  
    I have been lucky enough to not suffer from dust getting in the camera. However I did manage to find dust under my screen lodged between the glass and the digitizer. And to make matters worse its managed to move closer towards the middle of my screen. I've tried tapping and lightly banging it on its side in hopes it moves back outside the screen but no luck.


    Very annoyed.. And not willing to unseal my screen just to get rid of the dust.
  23. johninsj's Avatar
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    #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by KingCrimson View Post
    So the 920 is plagued by QC problems. One good batch, 2 bad ones.
    Refurbs seem to be immune to this - a month later, no dust, no proximity blank screen in calls when not against head for me. Hopefully they reved the line too.
  24. pjs37's Avatar
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    #24  
    Excellent find. I noticed this issue on my launch 920 as well but so far a can of compressed air tends to clean it out. But this explains a lot. Hopefully Nokia comes up with a solution to fix this without us having to disassemble our own phones (aka allow us to swap units with new ones where this won't occur) I wonder if this is why the spot right above my eye piece is always smudged?
  25. ololmarc's Avatar
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    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by eeewing View Post
    Subsequent communication with Nokia has been fruitless. I started off contacting their support team via Twitter, who asked me to follow the repair process outlined online -- the one where you send in your phone for 2 weeks and (according to many of you) have Nokia just take a can of air and blow the dust out for you. I can't be without my phone that long, so that wasn't gonna work. I wrote to Matt Rothschild, who passed me to the Nokia Care Team, who then told me that the issue was not covered by warranty. I wrote to Stephen Elop, who has not responded or forwarded me along to anybody. So, I decided to fix the thing myself. Here's what I found.
    Funny, I sent my phone in repair because of dust under my camera and suspected it went to the proximity sensor. They sent it back all fixed and works perfectly now. They even wrote a fixlog and report
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